A Workflow for Efficiently Translating Multiple Languages

Saturday, April 30, 2011
Similar to "data input" and "design" work, translation is another line of work that is popular for telecommuting. It's great to be able to do work in your own time and at your own pace. Whether the translator is hired by employment contract or outsourcing, the important thing is visualization of progress.

The below workflow definition is for translating one draft into multiple languages.
Similar: Learning How To Design Workflow Diagram With "Translating Workflow"

1. Register Manuscript, 2. Approval, 3a-d. Accept & Deadline, 4a-d. Question/Complete, 5. Answer Question, 6. Confirmation

[Translate <Multiple Languages>: "4a. Question/Complete" screen]

<Process Data Items>
  • Title
<<Original Draft>>
  • Original title (string)
  • Original file (file)
  • Original draft (string)
  • Priority (select: A/B/C)
  • Deadline (date)
  • Language (select: Japanese/German/French/Chinese)
<<Japanese Draft>>
  • Deadline (date)
  • Japanese title (string)
  • Japanese file (file)
  • Japanese translation (string)
<<German draft>>
  • Deadline (date)
  • German title (string)
  • German file (file)
  • German translation (string)
<<French draft>>
  • Deadline (date)
  • French title (string)
  • French file (file)
  • French translation (string)
<<Chinese draft>>
  • Deadline (date)
  • Chinese title (string)
  • Chinese file (file)
  • Chinese translation (string)
  • Correspondence (discussion)
  • Work status A (Select: Ask question / Complete)
  • Work status B (Select: Ask question / Complete)
  • Work status C (Select: Ask question / Complete)
  • Work status D (Select: Ask question / Complete)

By the way, if, for example, the original document is in Japanese, it's more cost-efficient to translate into German and French AFTER translating into English. But Japanese usually can be translated directly to other Asian languages efficiently. Depending on the number and characteristics of languages, it may be a good idea to arrange the order of the translation steps.

The below workflow goes from English to Japanese and French, and from Japanese to Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.
By the way, the internal correspondence during translation is highly useful for those in charge of other languages.

1. Register Manuscript, 2. Approval, 3a-d. Accept & Deadline, 4a-d. Question/Complete, 5a-d. Answer Question, 6. Confirmation